Digital Disruption - The API Way
Dicken’s famous opening sentences in A Tale of Two Cities - “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” is etched in the memory of literature fans around the globe across generations. Somehow with respect to the work we do in Infosys, these words in a way relates to the state of enterprises and many of our clients’ situations.
Businesses are changing and getting disrupted at a pace that it has created nervousness and excitement at the same time. From food to fashion to finance, across industries, leaders and boards have realized that technology is at the front and center of their business for them to remain relevant. Technology is not merely a support system to keep business running. A key trend supporting this argument is that most startups in the last few years are technology driven that have disrupted established business models.
One could foresee multiple possibilities in near future. Large banks could get disrupted by Fintechs and blockchain additionally creating regulatory challenges. Insurances could get disrupted with driverless cars and Internet of Things. Big-Box retailers will continue to reduce in number. Conclusively, “Business as Usual” will not be usual.
These challenges notwithstanding, technology is creating possibilities. Crypto-currencies and Blockchains will make paper money obsolete, reduce taxes and tax evasions, simplify payments and foreign exchanges. Consumers will have individualized and fair price with pay-as-you-go insurance and better value with connected internet of things. Retailers will provide a combined digital and wordly experience providing lower costs through e-commerce and the touch and feel familiarity of mortar-and-brick stores. In essence, technology is driving enterprises to create digital ecosystems between partners, customers and app-developers. Social media and Big Data help in enriching these ecosystems.
The technology glue to make all this possible is through a strong API First principles aided by API Management methodology for our clients.
A strong API methodology with tooling will help enterprises work towards their digital vision through two broad paths. One, creating these NEW ecosystems that helps the companies bring in new growth areas and revenues. Second, by RENEWing and simplifying the back-end systems by wrapping them with APIs to be consumed by any channels, users, apps or consuming systems. API Management thus plays key role in aligning with the contemporary multi-speed IT strategy right in the middle between the faster consumer, external channels and the slower legacy systems. A conventional Service Oriented Architecture based methodologies are not enough to achieve or break the bottlenecks associated with existing IT operations which many of our clients experience today.
APIs have become pervasive. APIs for interconnecting applications within enterprise. APIs for developing apps by developers. APIs to expose Big Data to gain insights. APIs to standardize integration of internet of things. APIs for Backend-as-a-Service enabling multi channels. APIs to monetize transactions and economize proprietary data and finding more ways to add revenue, faster development etc.
Let’s take a look at the few of the renowned examples - A search string on the popular search engine calls about 70 micro-services all through APIs before getting the results. The world’s leading e-commerce player started their journey with a simple principle that different software components will talk to each other only through APIs. The leader in media streaming uses APIs and micro-services to isolate and integrate their personalization engine, Metadata of Media and Unstructured media itself. E-Advertisers have used APIs to monetize for years now.
All these proven practices, patterns and tools are now available for companies to adopt, implement and gain advantage.
This gives immense opportunities for companies to create new markets, add growth and innovate at an exponential pace. An Insurer can create an online marketplace for providing services such as auto maintenance, home services by bringing in partners and creating a Customer-Partner ecosystem serving the same customer. Life Sciences industry can create a data marketplace and expose tons of data gathered through their medical devices for scientific, research and app development purposes.
The possibilities can go on and on. It leaves no doubt about the untold potentials that come with a sound API management strategy, architecture and delivery.
Infosys has invested in creating tools and solutions to accelerate our clients’ maturity in API and Micro-services and help them in their journey from the first-leg to the last-leg. Whether it is about setting up a new platform or creating a strategy to transform the architecture or providing a cost-effective platform operations, the team has practical examples to showcase. The practice has strong partnerships with the current leaders in the API Management suites. Forrester assessment is available here.
To learn more about our API and Micro-services practice and offerings, please contact this author or askus.